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James Madison High School is organized in accordance with the house system. There are eight houses, each having a Teacher Coordinator, a Guidance Counselor, and an Assistant Principal assigned to supervise and assist students.
Most students who apply to James Madison High School have the opportunity to apply to a specific "House". These include:
Law Institute: The Law Institute is designed for successful Social Studies students. In addition to being taught reasoning and communication skills, the students develop an understanding of American Legal institutions. Students in the Law House take classes/participate in activities such as Mock Trial, Moot Court, We The People, Legal Economics, CriminologyAdvanced Placement Economics. It is a four-year program designed to promote an understanding of our legal system and help students develop an appreciation of the Constitution and basic civil liberties. Students will study about our government and laws in honors level classes and will hone their skills by participation in moot courts, mock trials and mock congressional hearings. We strive to have students become active citizens and critical thinkers who are well-prepared for post-secondary education.
Bio-Medical Institute: The Bio Medical Institution (Bio Med House) is a program for talented students interested in science, technology, engineering, and medicine. The Bio Med House is composed of students (scholars) and teachers who seek to understand the complex world around us. This program explores science through experimentation and hands-on experience. Through participation in honors and AP-level science courses such as Biology, AP Biology, Chemistry Honors, AP Chemistry, Physics Honors, Pathology, Laboratory Techniques, AP Environmental Science, AP Psychology and Science Research. Our scholars have tackled challenges that include building LEGO robots, dissecting fetal-pigs, participating in lectures at SUNY Downstate Medical College, performing soil and water purification tests, building urban gardens, among others. Bio-med scholars enjoy small classes with like-minded students that work together throughout their high school experience. Students also participate in field trips, research experiments, sports teams and school events with friends and colleagues.
Math Academy: The Mathematics Academy, a prestigious and diversified program, provides a creative and challenging curriculum designed to enhance the student's problem-solving abilities and fosters an appreciation of mathematics. Students are given a unique opportunity to explore and investigate a variety of mathematics topics and to participate in math related contests, events and trips. Through participation in honors and AP-level science courses, our students have tackled challenges that include working together in small groups, participating in Math Team events, AP Calculus, designing robots, analyzing statistics and competing in state and national-level mathematics competitions.
Liberal Arts House/AVID Academy: The Liberal Arts Academy offers a course of study in Humanities and Arts including project based studies in History, English, Literature, Creative Writing, Music and Theater. Project based coursework gives students opportunities to learn through experience. Through our growing network of partnerships including AVID, Roundabout Theater Company, Poetry Out Loud and Random House Publishing, students gain competencies in the Arts with exciting experiences such as acting workshops, writing seminars and gateway designed to model successful learning habits and prepare students for the college level. Liberal Arts academy students take classes with like-minded students that work together throughout their high school experience. Students also participate in field trips, sports teams and school events with friends and colleagues.
Information Technology House: One of the newer houses at Madison. Known informally as the I.T. House, it is one of the only programs in NYC high schools that offers students the chance to take the Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel certification exams for free. The I.T. House is a program at James Madison High School for talented students interested in computer technology, web design, programming and computer engineering. This prestigious and diversified program provides a creative and challenging curriculum designed to enhance the student's problem-solving abilities and fosters an appreciation of the technological world in which we live.
Academy of Finance: The Finance Academy is a program at James Madison High School for talented students interested in careers in finance, banking, economics, accounting, commerce and business management. This prestigious and diversified program provides a creative and challenging curriculum designed to enhance the student's problem-solving abilities and fosters an appreciation of comparative financial systems on both the macro and micro-scale. Through participation in rigorous mathematics and finance courses, our students have tackled challenges that include working together in small groups, participating in finance competitions, participating in internships, analyzing statistics and competing in state and national-level finance competitions.
The International House (for students of limited English proficiency): The International House for English Language Learners is a program at James Madison High School for students whose primary language is not English. The purpose of this program is to immerse students in the language and culture of the United States of America while also fostering a deep appreciation for the diverse cultures of the world. Students will benefit from the support of an instructional program focused on developing literacy and language skills. Through participation in ESL classes and by participating in language workshops and tutoring, students gain the confidence to communicate and read effectively in English.
Instructional Support Services (ISS) House: The Madison Academy of Citizenship and Community Service (MACCS House) is a program at James Madison High School for students who will benefit from the support of an instructional program focused on developing literacy skills. Students in this house enjoy access to a literacy curriculum that will help them increase their reading levels so that they can be successful in all their academic endeavors. They participate in community service projects such as "Cross-Age Tutoring" which matches them up with elementary school students who need help learning how to read. It is our belief that by taking an active role in our school community and the community at large, the students will learn the importance of helping others and thus promote a sense of belonging within them.
Madison Academy of Community and Civil Service: The Madison Academy of Citizenship and Community Service (MACCS House) is a program at James Madison High School for students who will benefit from the support of an instructional program focused on developing literacy skills. Students in this house enjoy access to a literacy curriculum that will help them increase their reading levels so that they can be successful in all their academic endeavors. They participate in community service projects such as "Cross-Age Tutoring" which matches them up with elementary school students who need help learning how to read. It is our belief that by taking an active role in our school community and the community at large, the students will learn the importance of helping others and thus promote a sense of belonging within them.
James Madison High School is a six-floor red brick building with many rooms.
Subbasement: Boiler Room and storage areas.
Basement: The cafeteria is located in the building's basement.
1st Floor: On the first-floor main offices such as guidance and programming are located. As is the main entrance to the theater. The Music Department is in the back on the 1st floor. The library and swimming pool are also located on this floor.
2nd Floor: English Department, Access to Gym 1. Back of Gym 1 is the Athletic Wing staircase leading upstairs to gym 2/3 or down to the Pool
3rd Floor: Science Department, IT House, Language Department, Teachers Cafeteria access to Gym 2. Gym 2 shares a room with Gym 3 and has a staircase in the back leading up to Gym 4 or down to Gym 1
4th Floor: Science Department, Math Department, Social Studies Department, Law Department. Houses Gym 4 or otherwise known as the Health room which can only be accessed by either of the 3 gyms
5th Floor: Science Department, Computer Repair Room, Art classes, Social Studies Department.
6th Floor: Offices and Photography.
Athletic fields: Football Field, Soccer Field, Baseball Field, Tennis Courts, Track, Lacrosse Field, Roller Blading, and several more athletic facilities.
In May 2010, the James Madison High School Mock Trial team became the New York State Champions, while representing their region of New York City in Albany. The team competed against about 600 schools for first place. It was Madison's second time appearing in Albany after 5 years, and their first time winning. It was also the first time any New York City public school had ever won the State championship. The team accomplished their victory with the help of attorneys from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, who've always had a long-standing solid relationship with James Madison High School.
Madison also offers a wide range of Boys And Girls PSAL Varsity and Junior Varsity Sports: Football, Soccer, Basketball, Track and field, Wrestling, Baseball, Softball, Tennis, Volleyball, Swimming, Cross Country, Handball, Cheerleading, and Lacrosse.
The James Madison Baseball Team is among the most successful in the school ranked fourth in the New York City PSAL and sixth including Catholic High Schools. They have been in the final four three years in a row. In 2008, the team made it to the finals but fell short. The program has put a lot of their players into college baseball and three professional players Frank Torre, Cal Abrams, Harry Eisenstat. Went undefeated in 1954 capturing the PSAL city championship team leaders (Mike Weltman) and Jackie Kahn) who went on to become a highly decorated Homicide Detective with the Miami-Dade PD
Another very successful team is the Madison Wrestling Team. In addition to having many NYC Mayors Cup and City Champions, the team has posted a winning record and made the playoffs 10 out of the last 12 seasons, with an eight-year streak of making it past the first round of the PSAL Team Championships. The team was ranked #8 overall (public, Catholic and private schools combined) by MSG Varsity this past season.
James Madison High School is home to a very successful Swim Team. It has won countless competitions. It is currently coached by Mr. Davis who is retired but continues to train the swim team for each winter swimming season. He was retired in 2009. Mr. Tigre is the current swimming teacher at James Madison High School and has been for 2 years now. This is one of Madison's most prosperous teams.
Full list of teams (as of 2017)
Badminton Boys Varsity
Badminton Girls Varsity
Baseball Boys Jr. Varsity
Baseball Boys Varsity
Basketball Boys Jr. Varsity
Basketball Boys Varsity
Basketball Girls Jr. Varsity
Basketball Girls Varsity
Bowling Boys Varsity
Cross Country Boys
Cross Country Girls
Flag Football Girls Varsity
Football Boys Jr. Varsity
Football Boys Varsity
Girls Varsity Bowling
Golf Co-Ed Varsity
Golf Girls Varsity
Handball Boys Varsity
Handball Girls Varsity
Indoor Track Boys
Indoor Track Girls
Lacrosse Boys Varsity
Lacrosse Girls Varsity
Outdoor Track Boys
Outdoor Track Girls
Rugby Boys Varsity
Soccer Boys Varsity
Soccer Girls Varsity
Softball Girls Jr. Varsity
Softball Girls Varsity
Stunt Co-Ed Varsity
Swimming Boys Varsity
Swimming Girls Varsity
Table Tennis Boys Varsity
Table Tennis Girls Varsity
Tennis Boys Varsity
Tennis Girls Varsity
Volleyball Boys Varsity
Volleyball Girls Jr. Varsity
Volleyball Girls Varsity
Wrestling Boys Varsity
Wrestling Girls Varsity
SING!, a musical competition between the grades, has been a Madison tradition for over 50 years. On November 15, 2008, the Senior/Sophomore team lost to the Junior/Freshman team for the first time in 6 years, on the 60th anniversary of SING!. The SING! theme that year was "It's Never Too Late to Change." It is one of Madison's Most popular clubs. There is a new tradition called Brooklyn SINGS, also known as "InterSING", started in 2014. InterSING is a competition between Madison, Midwood, & Murrow High Schools to see who has the best SING performance. The winning team at Madison, Midwood, & Murrow will advance on to InterSING. In 2014-2015, InterSING took place in the Joseph Anzalone Theater in Edward R. Murrow High School in Midwood, Brooklyn. InterSING is a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.
Harvey Feldman (born 1931, class of 1949) US Diplomat: known for planning the 1972 Nixon trip to China, US Ambassador to Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, Alternative US Representative to the United Nations (an ambassadorial rank position)
^ abcdefghijklAbruzzo, Shavana. "Judge Judy inducted with elite alums on Madison's wall of fame", New York Post, June 1, 2010; accessed June 11, 2013. "Joining Judge Judy on the 2010 roster are late Brooklyn Dodger Cal Abrams ('42), former US ambassador to the United Nations Herbert Okun ('47), sportswriter Maury Allen ('49), University of Maryland Dental School professor and pain research pioneer Dr. Ronald Dubner ('51), historian and "dean" of presidential experts Dr. Robert Dallek ('52), retired Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court Deborah Tobias Poritz ('54) and director Joel Zwick ('58), whose screen and credits include My Fat Greek Wedding, Laverne & Shirley and Broadway's Oklahoma!.... No small wonder when the school's august alums include educator Stanley H. Kaplan ('35), former American Federation of Teachers President Sandra Feldman ('56), radio personality Bruce "Cousin Brucie" Morrow ('48), opera star Elaine Malbin ('48), Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' President Sidney Ganis ('57) and Paul L. Krinsky ('46), who served as the superintendent of the United States Merchant Marine Academy from 1987 to 1993, attaining the rank of rear admiral."
^Daly, Sean. "The return of Andrew Dice Clay", New York Post, August 21, 2011. Accessed June 11, 2013. "The only performer to be banned for life from MTV, Andrew Clay Silverstein was raised in Brownsville and attended James Madison High School before moving to LA in 1980."
^Dickson, Michael M. "Roy Albert DeMeo - Leader of the Gambino Family Murder for Hire", American Mafia History, October 18, 2012. Accessed June 11, 2013. "Roy Albert DeMeo was born on September 7, 1942 in Bath Beach Brooklyn to working class Italian immigrants. In 1959 DeMeo graduated from James Madison High School with an accomplished loan shark business bringing in hundreds of dollars each week."
^Rock, Tom. "JETS, Ellis spreading Pride in NFL", Newsday, October 21, 2006. Accessed June 11, 2013. "He was a basketball player - small for that sport, too - when Jeffrey Ishmael, the football coach at James Madison High School in Brooklyn, saw [Devale Ellis] grab a defensive rebound, dribble the length of the court and make an acrobatic layup."
^Tebbel, John Robert. " What, Me Gone?", Instant Classics, June 5, 1992; accessed June 11, 2013. "I spoke earlier about the influence he had, and I just thought of one incident. Bill and I both, as I said, went to James Madison High School in Brooklyn."
^Autobiography of Martin L. Perl, Nobel Prize; accessed June 11, 2013. "I was sixteen when I graduated from James Madison High School in Brooklyn in 1942. My sister, who is now a well known writer in the United States, moved through school even faster - she graduated at fifteen and one-half."